I think the danger comes with labeling telecommuting one way or the other for
everyone. Every job is different, every situation is different, and every
employee is different. I work from home one day a week. As a single guy, it is
typically my most productive day of the week. The amount of distractions for me
in the office are numerous. That being said, some positions require office
time, and some employees don't have a proper home environment for
CEOs and their board and stock holders of individual companies make
determination on their business plan for their particular environment. In the
IT world of Yahoo it is not the same plan as for Adobe, Intel, HP and other
types of companies that deal with IT. They have a particular market and
objectives to accomplish. I am sure this was not a shot from the
hip and was a thought out plan with the board and members in agreement with the
President, CEO, CFO, etc. Telecommuting is not for every business
and everyone. There are terms in the agreement that the employer and employees
make in that process. There is also a trust factor that employees that
telecommute can show by their input and output that those objectives are being
met and validated by the success of the program in an individual corporation,
company or even governmental entities that allow it. Proponents can
show benefits for the environment, family, world as a whole and just having a
Friday every workday. It is not beneficial for all work environments to have
individuals away from a place where you can bounce ideas off of each other.
Adobe has made their operation open.
What message is sent when a company that specializes in Internet communications
decides that its own people, connected as they are through the Internet,
aren't as productive as they would be if they were gathered together in an
office environment?It's nothing short of an indictment of their
own product, if you ask me. It's a no-confidence vote in technology that is
supposed to keep people connected but apparently is doing it badly. If Yahoo! is right about this, they probably shouldn't be in the business
of providing tools for group collaboration and so forth.
Different work arrangements work for different businesses/industries.Bringing her kid to work is NOT "Do as I say, not as I do." She is
not working from home . . . or did you miss that part?That she has
luxuries that other employees don't have . . . IS THIS NEWS TO ANYONE? Look, she was brought in to bring this underperforming company up a few
levels and build value for the share holders. HER neck is on the line. Some
OTHER CEO allowed employees to work remotely. She's doing things
differently. If she feels remote working is underperforming, is it not her
prerogative as CEO to make a change as she feels necessary? The
pervasive "entitlement mentality" is getting old. Don't like the
new CEO's policies? Go somewhere else. This is America folks. You have
the choice to stay or the choice to go. You don't have any rights.
Satellite workers kill business.
Cinci Man:[no cooler conversations, no ball games to discuss, no personal
stories, no long lunches and breaks, no hanging around after meetings, and no
cubicle drop-ins]What industry do you work in? In the
Technology/Innovation companies I've worked at, those are often essential
interactions. In fact, offices are structured in such a way to help facilitate
those "impromptu" collaborations.silo:[A telecommuting
employee can join a phone/web/video conference, email thread, or chat thread
just as easily and efficiently as an employee in a remote office.]But they can't join a person-to-person conversation, and so are left
out.I think people take for granted that just because they do most
of their "work" with a computer and that Yahoo does most of it
"work" with a computer, that it is essentially the same kind of work.
All white collar jobs require a computer these days, but that doesn't mean
that the work is the really the same or similar across industries/sectors.
Working in a non-innovation industry, impromptu conversations are less
essential, but working in an innovation industry, they are essential.
A quick look at Yahoo's career page shows that they have open positions
spanning about 30 different locations. Unless Mayer intends to consolidate all
those remote offices back into the sunnyvale headquarters, her argument about
efficiency only through direct collaboration is null. A telecommuting employee
can join a phone/web/video conference, email thread, or chat thread just as
easily and efficiently as an employee in a remote office.She
obviously thinks this idea is a good one, and she should be able to present the
board and shareholders with something more than an opinion to support her claim.
The board and shareholders should expect nothing less from her.
Seeing as how Yahoo's competitors are far ahead in facilitating
collaboration and data sharing outside of a standard office, this seems like a
desparate move to turn public opinion against the "office without
FlorwoodI loved your comment. Thanks! It all comes down to good
management. Fortunetely, I've had great managers that know how to manage
remote resources. And my wife keeps the "honey could you" things down
to very few until after my closed door opens at the end of the day. I never
take lunch and I never use Netflix during work. But I suppose some could watch
the soaps and Oprah (is she still on?). But as long as they get their work
done, I'm ok with that.
Cinci Man makes some good points about effectively managing work from home, but
I think there are pluses and minuses to both approaches. Water cooler
conversations at the office (wait--you actually have water coolers at work?),
"Honey could you" at home; the annoying cubicle visitor at work, your
four year old using markers on the wall at home; long lunch break at work,
Netflix at home.In my job, face to face interactions with the other
teams help get things done. I'd prefer more flexibility in my workplace
attendance, but would not want to give it up completely.
I think you'll find in the statement by the CEO that they are not
effeectively managing the work-from-home staff. So instead of training the
managers and putting into place effective ways to monitor the accomplishments of
the staff, they cancel the policy. It seems to me that the problems with Yahoo
go deeper than the staff. Management needs to quit loafing and manage, monitor,
train, and develop good work-from-home management tools and practices.
It depends...I think you could list a million anecdotes where individuals and
teams were much more productive when they spent most of their time at home
instead of the office, and I think you could find a million more where it just
made everything harder and enabled unproductive workers to goof off.It takes a certain kind of worker and a certain kind of job to make
telecommuting a valuable practice for the employer while giving employees
greater freedom and flexibility. Discipline is the most important attribute and
not all people have it.
And another benefit I forgot to mention - there are no affairs (known) between
employees or with managers who work from home. I was sickened when I worked for
another company with so many affairs going on, sometimes at the local motel or
behind locked doors at the office.
I have been working for a great company that has nearly all of its employees
working from home for years. Everyone I work with knows that you get far more
work done when there are no cooler conversations, no ball games to discuss, no
personal stories, no long lunches and breaks, no hanging around after meetings,
and no cubicle drop-ins. We are all shaking our heads at this crazy notion. In
fact, we all find that we work during the time that we would have otherwise been
commuting, this getting more hours of work from us than we would if we were in
In an IT environment that necessitates team collaboration in order to progress,
this is a great move.
It should be noted that the Yahoo CEO has recently had a child and works in the
office. It should also be noted that she has had a nursery built next to her
office and has a team of attendants to look after the child. "Do as I say,
not as I do".
Smart move and I think corporate American has been waiting for someone to break
the ice to get employees back in the house. The pitfalls and negative aspects of
work at home jobs should have been apparent and foreseen but they had no data or
case arguments to not allow it. I think this move will help the economy and
families and marriages to give parenting a needed break in tedious and boring
jobs of a home jail cell.Corporations have a valid argument with the
collaboration and team concept is something most business cannot compete with in
large scale complicated operations. When multimillion dollar collaboration can
make or break a business, you need the immediate input and team work to resolve
a solution with immediate access to all infromation of workers.I
think parents will welcome the change but may cost some their jobs who felt they
had a gravy train position. Low efficency corporations is who gets into trouble